“He’s got plenty of environment right here.”
An alcoholic, gambling-addicted boxer (Wallace Beery) struggles to provide a decent life for his son Dink (Jackie Cooper) — however, when Dink’s long-lost mother (Irene Rich) suddenly reappears in his life, a custody battle ensues.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
- Father and Child
- King Vidor Films
- Wallace Beery Films
Wallace Beery won an Academy Award for his role as a washed-up former heavyweight boxing champion trying to make good again for the sake of his kid. Unfortunately, this melodramatic tale about a boy who adores his father no matter how badly and repeatedly he messes up is either maudlin, depressing, or unrealistic (as when Cooper’s mother suddenly shows up, wealthy, with another husband and child, and hoping to adopt him).
Meanwhile, your tolerance for Cooper — who, fresh from his success in Skippy (1931), became the first major child star of the 1930s — will depend entirely on how much you can handle his overwrought if heart-felt reactions.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A sometimes touching tale of father-son love
No. Listed as a film with Historical Relevance in the back of Peary’s book.